Category Archives: Missiles & Guided Weapons

Sensor technology

The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates BAE Systems’ ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness
Sensor technology guides next-generation missile to readiness

BAE Systems worked closely with Lockheed Martin to deliver Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) to the U.S. Air Force, achieving Early Operational Capability (EOC) for the B-1 B Lancer bomber ahead of schedule. The Air Force accepted delivery of production LRASM units following successful simulation, integration, and flight tests that demonstrated the missile’s mission readiness.

«We’re quickly delivering critical capabilities to warfighters to meet their urgent operational needs», said Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency (RF) Sensors product area director at BAE Systems. «Our sensor systems provide U.S. warfighters with a strike capability that lets them engage protected, high-value maritime targets from safe distances. The missile provides a critical advantage to U.S. warfighters».

BAE Systems’ long-range sensor and targeting technology enables LRASM to detect and engage protected ships in all weather conditions, day or night, without relying on external intelligence and navigation data.

BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin are working closely together to further mature the LRASM technology. The companies recently signed a contract for the production of more than 50 additional sensors and are working to achieve EOC on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.

The advanced LRASM sensor technology builds on BAE Systems’ expertise in Electronic Warfare (EW), signal processing, and targeting technologies, and demonstrates the company’s ability to apply its world-class EW technology to small platforms. The successful LRASM sensor program demonstrates the company’s ability to quickly deliver advanced EW technology to warfighters.

As part of the company’s electronic warfare capacity expansion initiatives, it locates key programs where they will be optimally staffed to quickly transition from design to production, accelerate deliveries, and improve product affordability. The company’s work on the LRASM program is conducted at state-of-the-art facilities in Wayne, New Jersey and Nashua, New Hampshire, where it benefits from highly skilled EW engineering and manufacturing workforces.

First firing trial

The Brimstone 3 ultra-high precision missile system has successfully achieved a major milestone by completing its first firing trial at the Vidsel Trials range in Sweden.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years
The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years

Whilst enduring extreme weather conditions with temperatures below -30°C, the missile was surface launched against a pick-up truck target.

All trials objectives were fully achieved with the missile proving, through a telemetry unit, full closed loop guidance with the seeker progressing into target acquisition and track.

Russell Jamieson, Chief Engineer, said: «The trial further proves Brimstone’s fully flexible platform approach, providing a «one missile, multiple platform» capability, for surface launch, fast jet, Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land and maritime platforms, all utilising the same missile. The result really was a tremendous success, and thanks to the hard work and determination of the whole team».

The demonstrated surface to surface capability builds on the advanced guidance and targeting abilities developed during the Brimstone programme and from hundreds of successful operational firings against targets in structures, main battle tanks/armoured vehicles, maritime vessels, trucks, fast moving and manoeuvring cars/motorbikes and individual targets in the open.

Brimstone 3 is the product of the Brimstone Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), announced in March 2018, that will provide new Brimstone missiles for the UK Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory and to maintain the UK’s battlefield edge into the future. It will also provide the ability to fully meet current and future export supply needs.

The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years which include the highly capable Dual Mode Semi-Active Laser (SAL)/millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead, all combining to provide unique performance capabilities of Brimstone against the most challenging of targets. The new hardware standard will also enable the addition of further capability upgrades in the future.

Joint Strike Missile

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (KONGSBERG) has entered into contract with Japan to supply the initial deliveries of JSM (Joint Strike Missile) for their fleet of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircrafts.

KONGSBERG awarded Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan
KONGSBERG awarded Joint Strike Missile contract with Japan

The JSM development started in 2008 and was completed in mid-2018 after a series of successful validation test firings.

«This is an important international breakthrough which demonstrates the importance of cooperation between Norwegian authorities, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment and Norwegian industry», says CEO of KONGSBERG Geir Håøy.

The JSM is the only long-range sea- and land-target missile that can be carried internally in the F-35 Lightning II and thus ensuring the aircraft’s low-signature (stealth) capabilities. JSM is a new missile that will expand the overall capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II. No other weapon on the market today, can perform the same types of missions.

«The international F-35 Lightning II user consortium is showing great interest in the JSM and KONGSBERG is very proud to have been selected by Japan to provide the JSM for their F-35 Lightning II fleet. This is a major milestone for the JSM program, entering into the production phase», says Eirik Lie, President, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

Air-launched missile

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $322.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program.

Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)
Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)

The AARGM-ER program is leveraging the AARGM that is currently in production. The AARGM-ER will be integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.

«AARGM-ER extended range coupled with AARGM lethality will meet a critical defense suppression requirement while protecting our strike aviators», said Cary Ralston, vice president, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman.

AARGM is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat aircraft.

Wind tunnel tests

Raytheon Company successfully completed more than 1,700 rigorous wind tunnel tests on the newest, extended-range variant of the combat-proven Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). Testing is a major step in the missile’s qualification for integration with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS).

Raytheon engineers recently completed wind tunnel testing on a new, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a key step in qualifying the missile for the NASAMS launch system
Raytheon engineers recently completed wind tunnel testing on a new, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile. Testing is a key step in qualifying the missile for the NASAMS launch system

The AMRAAM-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER) missile is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The missile’s bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms give it a boost in range.

«During these tests, we put AMRAAM-ER through a full range of potential flight conditions to validate the missile’s future performance on the battlefield», said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. «Raytheon is developing this missile to enhance ground-based air defense for our customers worldwide».

Raytheon engineers will now analyze data from the wind tunnel test runs to verify and update the AMRAAM-ER missile’s aerodynamic models to maximize its performance.

Raytheon AMRAAM-ER Missile Goes Long and Flies High

 

About NASAMS

Manufactured by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, NASAMS is the most widely used short- and medium-range air defense system in NATO. NASAMS provides a high-firepower, networked and distributed state-of-the-art air defense system that can quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving threat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and emerging cruise missile threats.

 

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 97 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber and Intelligence (C5I) products and services, sensing, effects and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.

LAV-AT Modernization

The Marine Corps continues to upgrade the turret system for one of its longest-serving fighting vehicles – the Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-Tank (LAV-AT).

Anti-Tank Weapon Systems are mounted on Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank variants at Camp Pendleton, California. The LAV Team at Marine Corps Systems Command continues to provide new equipment training to units receiving the Anti-Tank Weapon System upgrade, with the final two training evolutions scheduled for early this year. Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the ATWS is expected at the end of fiscal year 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by CWO4 Michael Lovell)
Anti-Tank Weapon Systems are mounted on Light Armored Vehicle-Anti-tank variants at Camp Pendleton, California. The LAV Team at Marine Corps Systems Command continues to provide new equipment training to units receiving the Anti-Tank Weapon System upgrade, with the final two training evolutions scheduled for early this year. Full Operational Capability (FOC) for the ATWS is expected at the end of fiscal year 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by CWO4 Michael Lovell)

In September 2017, Marine Corps Systems Command’s LAV-AT Modernization Program Team achieved initial operational capability by completing the fielding of its first four Anti-Tank Light Armored Vehicles with the upgraded Anti-Tank Weapon Systems (ATWS) to Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Marines.

The ATWS fires the tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided – or TOW – missiles. It provides long-range stand-off anti-armor fire support to maneuvering Light Armored Reconnaissance companies and platoons. The ATWS also provides an observational capability in all climates, as well as other environments of limited visibility, thanks to an improved thermal sight system that is similar to the Light Armored Vehicle 25-mm variant fielded in 2007.

«Marines using the new ATWS are immediately noticing the changes, including a new far target location capability, a commander/gunner video sight display, a relocated gunner’s station, and an electric elevation and azimuth drive system, which replaced the previous noisy hydraulic system», said Steve Myers, LAV program manager.

«The ATWS also possesses a built-in test capability, allowing the operators and maintainers to conduct an automated basic systems check of the ATWS», he said.

The LAV-ATM Team continues to provide new equipment training to units receiving the ATWS upgrade, with the final two training evolutions scheduled for early this year. Training consists of a 10-day evolution with three days devoted to the operator and seven days devoted to maintaining the weapon system. Follow-on training can be conducted by the unit using the embedded training mode within the ATWS.

«This vehicle equips anti-tank gunner Marines with a modern capability that helps them maintain readiness and lethality to complete their mission», said Major Christopher Dell, LAV Operations officer.

Full operational capability for the ATWS is expected at the end of fiscal year 2019.

«Currently, there are 58 in service within the active fleet», said Myers. «The original equipment manufacturer delivered 91 of the 106 contracted kits and is ahead of schedule. Now MCSC’s focus is directed at the Marine Corps Forces Reserve, ensuring they receive the same quality NET and support as their active counterparts».

LAV Anti-Tank Weapon System to reach FOC by end of 2019
LAV Anti-Tank Weapon System to reach FOC by end of 2019

Ukrainian Missile

The tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region.

Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)
Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)

According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system.

«The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets», – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers.

Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped.

In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked.

«According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast», – Mr. Turchynov noticed.

After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.

Brazilian Missile

According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Brazilian Navy on Tuesday (November 27) launched the first prototype of the National Anti-Ship Missile (Míssil Antinavio Nacional de Superfície, or MANSUP), 300 km/186 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)
The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)

The test confirmed the correct functioning of several subsystems, and the need for improvement in some others. Data of its in-flight behavior were recorded by telemetry, also developed in Brazil and, after it is analyzed, will guide the next development steps and launches.

The MANSUP is 5.6 meters/18.4 feet long, weighs about a tonne/2,205 lbs. and accelerates to a speed of 540 knots/621 mph/1,000 km/h in less than seven seconds.

This Strategic Project was started 10 years ago in partnership with several national contractors: AVIBRAS, responsible for the propulsion; SIATT, which develops the guidance system, control and telemetry; OMNISYS, which designs the target detection radar; and the EZUTE Foundation, which assists in coordinating the necessary work.

The data obtained with this launch will allow to continue the evolution of this project developed with exclusively national technology, and which place our country in the select group of manufacturers of missiles of this size.

First Firing

MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development.

The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory
The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory

The firing trial was carried out on 9 November in an Italian test range. The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.

Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, commented: «This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets. The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters. Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow as well as further develop competencies and know-how».

The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements. Having completed the 18 months System Definition Phase, the full integration of Marte ER on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding at pace in order to implement an anti-ship capability onto the fighter.

Full Rate Production

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $171 million contract for Lot 7 Full Rate Production (FRP) of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The contract will deliver advanced capability to U.S. warfighters as well as the Italian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to counter the accelerating proliferation of surface-to-air threats.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target
Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target

«The rapid proliferation of today’s threats require the most advanced solution to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats and protect our nation and allies», said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman. «AARGM is an affordable, game-changing solution and we are proud to provide this capability to the warfighter».

AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with capability to perform destruction of enemy air defense missions. AARGM is the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.

AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Italian Air Force (ItAF) recently completed operational testing of AARGM on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. A series of flight tests culminated with direct hits on critical air defense threat targets, confirming the operational effectiveness and suitability of AARGM on the Italian Air Force Tornado and allowing the Italian Air Force to transition AARGM into operational squadrons.